The Villero town hall remember that «the La Orotava Valley it has conserved for more than three centuries this procedure of conduction of the vineyards called braided cord, an important part of the cultural legacy transmitted by the successive generations of farmers in the Valley ”. The origin of this system of conduction of the vineyards is not clear, although historians such as Jose Manuel Hernandez point out the possibility that it came “from the hand of Portuguese settlers, probably from Madeira, in the early sixteenth century to facilitate the cultivation of malvasia.”
The braided cord cultivation system consists in “the arrangement of the vines by means of twisted branches, intertwining rods of different years, until configuring a cord that rises from the ground approximately fifty centimeters, being supported by forks generally made of heather wood, although iron is mostly used today ”. According to the municipal technical report that supports the proposal, «it is not only a practical method that gives the Valley of La Orotava a high environmental value from a landscape point of view, but it is, in the same way, a procedure that is a fundamental part of its heritage and its identity, as a practice, cooking and its own traditional knowledge that, however, is seen threatened by the introduction of less laborious vine management systems ”.
The City Council urges the Cabildo de Tenerife to initiate the file to declare this artisan technique BIC
The difficulty and toughness of maintaining the braided cord, which practically does not allow the use of machinery, is, together with the abandonment of the vineyards for other more profitable crops, the main threat to the preservation of the braided cord. Despite the difficulties that are predicted for its long-term conservation, the aforementioned report indicates that «Today it is still the majority system in the Valley, employing more than 70% of the vineyards that are currently in operation, generating a functional agricultural landscape whose image has not changed for more than three hundred years ”. For its conservation, it is key to support the winegrowers who maintain it.
For La Orotava City Council, «The system of conduction of the vineyard in traditional braided cord represents a manifestation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the La Orotava Valley unparalleled, given its historical significance in the socioeconomic development of the town, its peculiar condition of being an indigenous technique, unique on the planet, and for representing a significant example of local tradition transmitted from more than three hundred years ago to transcending the actuality ». Thus, the villera Corporation understands that “it meets all the conditions for its protection and declaration as an Asset of Intangible Cultural Interest”.